The Polymorphic Virus
"WELCOME BACK ,Friday." Ngiting sabi ni Mary Rose, ang student council president.
I smiled back. "Thank you, Mary Rose."
Nagpatuloy ako sa paglalakad until I reached the storage room or tambayan namin. Binuksan ko iyon at nanlaki ang mga mata ko nang makita si Matix sa loob.
"Friday!" Effie shouted at sinalubong ako ng yakap.
I hugged her back as tight as I could. Na miss ko siya eh.
"Are you okay?" Pambungad na tanong sa akin ni Chaos.
I nodded. "I'm trying to be." I smiled weakly.
"Mabuti naman at nandito ka na. Pwede na namin mapanood ang video tape." Matix said.
Kumunot ang noo ko. "What video?"
"When you were abducted, Matix gave us a small device which could capture the voice and face of someone. Nirecord ni Matix ang video noong sinagip ka namin so we could review it back here with you." Chaos explained.
I sighed. "You don't have to do this, guys."
"We have to, Friday. No one abducts you and gets away with it." Sambit ni Effie.
Tumango nalang ako. They are really persistent. Wala rin akong magagawa.
Tumabi ako ng upo kay Effie. "Play it." Sabi ko kay Matix.
We reviewed the video. Magulo ang camera kaya wala kaming makuha pero nang makita nila ako at inakay ako ni Chaos, he moved around slowly. I focused myself pero wala. No person. No beast.
"Play it again." Utos ko. I am very sure that the beast is there. In the cabin..
Matix played the video again and this time, may nahagilap ang mga mata ko. It's a sillhouette of a man, standing behind the cabin's window looking at us!
"There." Biglang turo ko at pinause naman ni Matix.
"Who's that?" Tanong ni Effie.
"The beast." I simply answered.
"The beast abducted you?" Chaos asked.
I breathed heavily, trying not to remember that memory. "He did and two men started touching me on different parts of my body."
"More reason to catch this beast and bring him to jail." Galit na sambit ni Chaos.
"Have you seen his face?" Puno nang kuryosidad na tanong ni Effie.
Umiling ako. "Madilim ang paligid, wala akong makita."
"Wait, who is this beast? What are you talking about?" Naguguluhang tanong ni Matix.
"A mysterious person who killed Chaos's family and the one responsible for the death of fifty students and teachers." Simpleng sagot ni Effie.
I spoke, "and the one who abducted me."
Tumango-tango si Matix. "I think I have a lot to catch up to be part of the group."
"NO." Madiin na sagot ni Chaos.
Kumunot ang noo ni Matix. "Why?Malaki ang tulong ko sa inyo. Without my help, you wouldn't find Friday."
"Just no. You are annoying me." Inis na sambit ni Chaos saka lumabas ng storage room.
Sakto namang nagbell na. Simula na ang klase kaya nagsi-alisan na rin kami.
"BUTI naman at okay ka na." Mahinahong sambit ni Daeril. Lunch time na at nakasalubong ko si Daeril na mag-isang kumakain kaya sinamahan ko siya.
"Yup." I smiled.
Hindi ko nakita si Daeril nang tatlong araw kaya nakakagulat nang may mask siya sa mukha. "What's with the mask?" I asked.
"Nothing." He answered.
"Daeril, alam kong may rason ka bakit may mask ka. What is it?"
He breathed heavily. "If I show you, will you walk away?"
"No." Mabilis na sagot ko.
"Okay." Daeril breathed heavily and took off his mask.
I stilled nang makita ko ang kabuuan ng mukha niya.
"Not a word, Friday." Seryosong sabi niya.
His face..half of his face is burnt. Kita pa rin naman ang skin niya. Parang pilat nalang ang naroon.
"W-What happened?" I asked. Di ko maiwasang hindi magtanong. I want to know what happened to him.
He sighed. "I was punished."
Kumunot ang noo ko. "Punished? Why? Who punished you?"
"My dad. I received a failing score on an exam. He got mad and burnt half of my face." He answered but smiled weakly.
Oh no.. "Daeril.." sambit ko. I admit that I have daddy issues but not like this.
Naawa ako bigla.
"I can see pity in your eyes. Not judgement."
"Why would I judge you?," hinawakan ko ang kamay niya, "Daeril, I don't judge people based on their faces. I judge them based on their story." Sagot ko.
"Thank you." He said.
Suddenly, my phone rang. Like a text message is sent to me.
Akala ko kung sino but it was actually a file attachement. Nakakunot ang noo kong binuksan iyon.
I gasped. Different pictures of different students. There are pictures of students naked at ang iba, selling drugs.
Tinignan ko si Daeril na mukhang nakareceive din ng file. I looked around. Looks like everyone received a file too.
"Who sent this?" I asked.
Daeril placed his mask on. "I don't know but we, the student council needs to take action fast." Anito at umalis.
"Friday!" I looked around. May tumawag kasi sa pangalan ko. Then I saw Effie, panicking while Chaos is behind her na mukhang kalmado lang at nakapamulsa.
"Have you received one too?" I asked.
Tumango si Effie. "This is not good." Aniya at pinakita sa akin ang isang picture. Picture of her dad, with a Liberty High teacher, kissing.
"Galit na galit ako sa dad ko ngayon because he cheated on mom pero I have to save his reputation. We need to delete this file."
I deleted the file on my phone pero everytime I delete it, another one sends back.
"Someone might be controlling the files." Ani Chaos.
"Could it be Matix? Siya lang ang kilala kong magaling sa computer or software." Sabi ko. Not that I don't trust Matix. Siya lang talaga kasi ang alam kong magaling sa computer or hacking.
"You're right. It could be that idiot." Sabi ni Chaos at tumakbo patungong storage room na sinundan namin.
When we reached the storage room, akala namin ay maaabutan namin si Matix na nasa harap ng laptop niya but no.
He's sleeping while hugging his laptop.
"Matix.." tawag ko.
"Hmmm" he mumbled but continue to sleep.
"Wake up." Sinampal siya ni Chaos. "I've been wanting to do that." Aniya pa na ang tinutukoy ay ang pagsampal kay Matix.
Hindi pa rin gumigising si Matix kaya ginawa ko ang sa tingin ko ang magpapagising sa kaniya.
I grabbed his laptop.
Bigla siyang nagising at napatayo habang hila ang laptop sa kamay ko.
"Hey!" Sigaw niya.
I stopped grabbing the laptop. "Ikaw ba?" Effie asked.
"Ako ba ang?"
"The one who sent the files to students!" Effie answered.
Kumunot ang noo ni Matix. "No. Why would I do that?"
"To unleash Liberty High students and teachers' darkest secrets." Chaos said.
"Okay, look, I help students keep their secrets not reveal them. They pay me to delete pictures of them." Matix explained.
"If, only if, you are telling the truth, who could've possibly sent those files?" Chaos asked.
"What happened?" Marix asked.
"A file is sent to our numbers that consists of pictures that reveals the students and teachers' secrets." I answered.
"Like my dad. Kasama siya sa file na yun. A picture of him and ms. Muñoz, kissing." Sagot naman ni Effie.
Matix opened his laptop and opened a software. "Kung itatrace ko ang sender ng file na yun, madali lang natin mahuhuli ang sender." Sabi ni Matix.
"Then do it." Ani Chaos but Matix is not doing anything. He crossed his arms and smiled at Chaos.
"I won't do it." Aniya.
"Matix, please. My dad's reputation is in danger." Effie pleaded.
"I'll pay you. One thousand." Chaos added.
Matix smiled. Yung ngiting nanunukso. "Tempting but I want another payment."
"What is it?" Tanong namin
"I want to be part of your group." Sambit ni Matix.
Matix closed his laptop. "Okay. Madali naman ako kausap."
"Matix!" Chaos shouted.
Matix chuckled. "Look, I want to be part of your group. Nagsasawa na ako sa mga request ng estudyante. Palagi kasing simple ng request nila. It's either they want to know the number of their crush or they want to hack the facebook account of their boyfriends to see if they're cheating. Hindi ko naipapakita ang galing ko sa hacking." Matix explained.
"Fine, you can join us." Napipilitang sambit ni Chaos.
Matix grinned. "Yes!"
He opened his laptop and spoke, "as I was saying, if this is just simple hacking, I could trace the address of the computer that the sender is using. I'll be needing the number used to send the files." Sabi ni Matix.
Binigay ni Effie ang number. "I tried to call it numerous times pero iba't ibang number ang natatawagan ko." Aniya.
"It's okay." Ani Matix habang mabilis na nagtatype sa laptop.
Ilang minuto ang lumipas, nakakunot ang noo ni Matix na nagsasalita. "No, it can't be.."
"What is it?" Chaos asked.
"This is not hacking! The reason why everytime I delete a file and another one sends back is because this is a virus!" Matix explained.
"This is a polymorphic virus. Mahirap i-detect ang mga ganitong virus dahil nagduduplicate sila so it will be very hard to trace the original address of the computer with this virus."
"So we need to find the computer?" I asked.
"No need. I can rewrite the language strings to remove the virus then hack the system used to send the files." Matix answered.
"How long will it take?" Effie asked.
"It's very time consuming. Three days to be exact if you keep on writing the wrong language strings. This is a one way ticket, guys. Kapag nagkamali ka ng isang key, uulit ka sa simula. So I have to be very careful." Ani Matix at nagsimula sa pagtatype.
"Why is it that everytime I call a number, number ng iba't ibang estudyante ang natatawagan ko?" Effie asked.
Matix continued to type, "as I said earlier, it duplicates itself which is very hard to track. People who received the file has polymorphic virus at number nila ang natatawagan mo." He answered.
After an hour, Matix spoke, "done."
Tinignan namin ang phone namin at parang bula na bigla nalang iyon nawala.
"Now, time to hack the sender." Aniya at mabilis na nagtype. Makalipas ang ilang minuto, nagsalita ulit siya. "The original sender of the file is David Larson, grade 11 student and a member of computer club."
"Where can we find him?" Tanong ko.
"I traced his laptop at nasa computer lab siya." Ani Matix.
"Thanks." Sambit ko at umalis na kami habang si Matix naman ay naiwan sa storage room.
Nang makarating kami sa computer lab, we saw David na mukhang galit at abala sa pagtatype sa computer.
"David." Chaos uttered. Agad siyang lumingon sa amin at tumayo.
"We know it's you. The one who is responsible for sending that file." Ani Chaos.
"So? Dapat lang iyon para malaman ng lahat kung anong baho ang tinatago ng mga estudyante sa liberty high." Maangas na sagot ni David.
"The student council will be here any minute. Your punishment? It is termination." Panakot ni Effie kahit ang totoo, hindi namin tinawagan ang student council.
Biglang natakot si David. "H-Huwag..pakiusap. Huwag niyo ako isumbong. Sinunod ko lang ang utos niya.."
Kumunot ang noo ko. "Utos? Utos nino?"
"H-Hindi ko siya kilala. Nagpadala lang siya ng sulat sa akin na gumawa ng virus at isend ang file na sinend niya sa akin sa lahat ng estudyante sa Liberty High."
"Where is that note?" Chaos asked.
"T-Tinapon ko na. Sabi niya ay sunugin ko ang papel sa oras na mabasa ko ang sulat." David answered.
"Who sent the letter?" Tanong ni Chaos.
"Hindi ko kilala pero beast ang tawag niya s-sa sarili niya."
Huminga ako nang malalim. Hanggang ngayon, umaatake pa rin ang beast. At nanariwa na naman ang nangyari sa akin nang marinig ko ang salitang iyon.
Nagkatinginan kami. "He's not kidding when he said that the game is really starting." Ani Chaos.
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